Log:Bring Me the Wine and the Dice
Dare steps through into a California vineyard in the late 1920's, his skin turning green, his Kemen face returning. He is wearing an Egyptian style linen kilt and full ceremonial make up, though he is barefoot, toes digging into the rich loam as he walks.
The change in Fizz is far subtler; he looks much the same, though his hair is longer and crowned by an ivy wreath, and he's now wearing a gold-embroidered chiton and sandals, laced to mid-calf, with a thyrsos relatively casually in hand. He looks a little bit surprised to look down at himself, and then amused. "Well, I reckon that'll do," he murmurs, voice a little changed as well. A deep breath, taking in the scent of the green and growing, the healthy earth, and it emerges as a fairly contented sort of sigh.
Dare's accent is Egyptian again, "Your hair looks so good like that. So right." He closes his eyes and breathes deep with a sigh of his own. "I haven't felt this good in so long." He breathes in and out, toes burrowing in like roots.
The Bon-Vivant eyes that toe-burrowing, and apparently sees that it Is Good, because he leans down, sticking the end of the thyrsos into the soil, and starts untying the fastenings of his sandals. "It never gets quite this long back there," he says, which is true; he wakes up with it the just-above-shoulder-length he's been leaving it this time. Blaise-length. "Feeling more yourself? I like seeing this you, I dunno why. It's got a rightness to it too."
Dare eyes Dionysius' crotch first before remembering he means his hair. Kemen-dare blushes Ivy green. "Even when it was bad. Even when I was thinking of trying to...heal the Dustbowl, this was the most comfortable in my skin I've been since I stpped out of my car at Beaver Lodge boat house. It was... always uncomfortable letting someone see me naked the first time of when anyone but Sekmet saw me dead, but this was... right in a way it's hard to explain." He gazes out at the vines and they ripen where he looks, perfect orbs full of juice ready for the fermenting. He flashes Fizz a smile, and throws an arm around his shoulder, "I think you said something about a party."
The Bon-Vivant catches the eyeing, follows the trajectory, and grins. "*That's* usually about the same length," he teases, "I mean, more or less. Assuming equivalent outside influences." He gathers the untied sandal laces as he steps out of them shoes and straightens, free hand lifting to ghost a fingertip along Kemen's cheek. "Always liked that effect," he says, "The green." A broad grin, and he lifts the thyrsos. "I think," he agrees, "I did," and he bangs the heel of the rod down against the soil -- once, twice, thrice. From off in all directions come cries of "Euoi!" and the grin manages to widen. "I think it's on the way."
Dare gives a bark of a laugh, "Mine's not." Ducks his head a little, "I hated hiding it with make up. Calls back, "Euoi!" and grinig sets off through the vines with his friend.
"Variety, spice of life," Fizz says lightly, and throws his head back as they walk to give a jubilant call back as well. The vines grow ripe and abundant around them, and the sound of music, of drums and pipes, filters in and grows louder until they reach a clearing where the vines open up beside a small lake, a bonfire growing up within a scattered circle of fallen logs and larger stones. As they arrive, the thiasus are as well, in ones and twos and threes, with their instruments and bearing wine jugs and the like. "Euoi!" several of them cry on spotting the gods, and hurry over to greet them, and offer their wine.
Dare gazes about, clearly pleased with all he sees. He trades a kiss for a full Kylix, which he raises, and in a ringing voice calls, "Let us pour libations in memory of the Phoenix, who was the Bennu Bird and Sonya and Alannah, compassionate warrior and scholar, beloved. Let us hope she rises from her ashes in a better world!" He tips the Kylix, pouring out a drink for the dead or at least the lost to them.
The Bon-Vivant also looks quite pleased, in part by the arrival of specific faces he recalls, albeit mainly from the postcard-memories -- this is long enough before the Carnival that much of his cult has had turnover as members grew older and moved to more settled lives, or weren't yet old enough in this time to have found him -- and in part by the situation as a whole. And quite definitely by the greeting he gets from a few of them, trading kisses for, well, kisses, mostly, and a certain amount of salutatory groping, before there's wine as well.
He lifts his kylix as well, and that particular mention Kemen chooses to begin with, Phoenix, that seems to strike him somewhere deeply, his eyes widening and filling with a strange combination of hope and unspilt tears. "Rita," he adds just audibly to the short, too-short, litany of names. "May she burn as brightly wherever she is now, and perhaps-- someday be reborn to us again." It's never happened that he knows of. But she was the phoenix, and he holds that fact to his heart as he, too, pours out a drink for her memory.
Dare echoes "Rita," and stands solemn for a long moment thinking of her. Softly he says, "Have you a memory of her you'd like to share while we drink in her memory?" He reaches for a fresh Kylix, trading it for another kiss.
The Bon-Vivant takes that same moment, and trades his cup for someone elses, who does not protest. Sometimes, it's handy to be the god. Even if he WOULD more than happily trade some kisses for it himself. He studies the surface of the wine a moment longer, considering. "I have... several memories," he says, "I don't even know which one I'd start with. She was like me -- showed up there, not out in the other realities -- but I think I'm the only one she saw before we were Scott and Sonya. I did my best to explain things to her. She was really suspicious at first, but we sorted things out, and I cut her hair so she could see it'd be back in the morning, and-- she thought like I did. She was the first person I talked to about the idea that maybe where we were just was what reality is, because she had the same thought, and... I liked her already, the way she was thinking about things, the way she was trying to figure them out. And then the next time we all slept we woke up in Oregon, and she-- saved the world." There's a touch of wonder in it, more than a little affection, and unsurprisingly a bit of pain. "I can't really put the memories in words. None that'll do them justice."
Dare lifts his cup, "She saved the world!" He drinks solemnly, "She was like a niece to me when I was Finn and she was Sonya, but the thing I remember most about her now is how kind she was to me when I was Angel. She always treated me like a person, not a uniform, not... a broken thing. She never gave up. there was a light in her in any carnation, particularly when she wa Rita." He drinks deep, "May she always rise again and the light from her feathers illuminate all who's hearts she touches." He drains the Kylix, hands it off and produces two very sharp knives, offering one to his friend before stepping up to the fire to roughly cut short his curls, singing a dirge in Ancient Egyptian as he does. Handful by handful he tosses his hair into the fire.
It's weird how the mention of saving the world feels like it contains a whole host of other things, none of which are exactly what it actually says, but maybe that's related to the feeling of verbal insufficiency. Fizzonysus lifts his cup again, inclining his head in a nod to the words on her kindness and light, then drains the wine as well, studying the empty kylix afterward. One of the cult members takes it, offering another, though it's waved off in favour of accepting Daresiris's knife.
As they approach the fire, there's another change in the music; it had begun joyous, fallen quieter and more poignant as they spoke, and now rises again, but aiming for to support that Egyptian dirge. It adds a strangely Grecian flavour to it, an appropriate enough combination for the situation. It's strange what one can find in those memories, sometimes; Dionysus finds that dirge, likely from somewhere in that time when the two of them were one, and he sings as well, forming a sort of harmony as the blade slices through his locks, just below the wreath. No longer so right, alas, and the scent of burning hair rising from the flame as he tosses each handful in isn't an improvement. But that isn't, after all, the point.
Dare follows their hair with funerary herbs, both traditional Greek and Egyptian, and incense to help cover the smell of the hair now the smoke of the bitter offering is starting to clear. In the background the women wail as he says a last prayer for the lightness of Rita's soul as it crosses from this world to the next, alternating Greek and Egyptian. When the chant ends, he stares into the fire.
It's quiet but for wailing and music -- which, granted, means not particularly quiet, really -- for a good half minute or so after they're done, while Dionysus watches the flames, looking into them as if he might find Rita there -- as if she might rise from them in her phoenix form, perhaps, and return to them. Inevitably, she does not. After those seconds tick by, he seems to shake himself free, a swallow drawing back the tears that threaten to fall once more, and turns his attention to the other assembled. "Wine!" he demands, and some of the cultists scurry forth to present more to both of them, "Music! Let us drink and dance to her spirit until we can feel her among us again." Not that she was ever exactly among them before, but this is not a point anyone's inclined to bring up, if they even notice. They're far more inclined to call out in rising excitement and do just as they're bid, falling into patterns at least as old and far more enjoyable than those just past.
Dare gives a loud ululation and chugs down a cup, "May the wine be unmixed!" He puts a green arm around his friend and gives him a squeeze, reaching for another cup he simply trusts to be there. He may only have little Fizzonysius in him, but he was once a God of life and death and this is what they are doing: mingling life and death and rebirth.